In any kitchen, the countertop is a key factor to the look. It’s often the main factor. So you want to get it right.
Today, there are many materials and styles to choose from and it’s often difficult to pick one. You like them all! From laminate countertops to the stone, marble and granite options that many are now choosing, your picture of a dream kitchen, your budget and your needs help determine your choice.
Granite, marble and other stone countertops:
Granite, for example, is a low-maintenance choice that is both heat and stain resistant. Marble is another and, like granite, is heat resistant. There are other stone choices as well like slate, limestone and soapstone. You may want to explore these options because each has unique qualities. Depending on what you are planning, you may find one of these fits the bill.
This is created by using a polymer to bond together fragments of natural stone. It is a more consistent look than other stone tops but it’s also a material where stains and scratches can be easily removed. You don’t want to put a hot pot on an engineered stone countertop, however. It can be damaged by heat.
Solid surface and stainless steel:
Other material options are solid surface countertops and stainless steel. Solid surface has advantages in that there are no seams and you can sand out (gently!) stains and scratches. Stainless steel has the advantage of not succumbing to stains, odors or germs and is easy to clean. However, it will easily show fingerprints and not easily fit with the style of many kitchens.
Of course, there is always the laminate countertop that many, if not most, homeowners have used for decades. Laminate comes in many colors and styles – it’s highly likely you can find one that suits you. They do have visible seams however and are not repaired easily. They are also not resistant to heat.
You could also consider concrete as a countertop. It’s a relatively recent concept with the advantages of durability and resistance to damage. Once sealed, it’s also non-porous. As you might imagine, it is heavy. Keep in mind when considering it that your countertop will need to be custom made.
Finally, there are ceramic tile countertops. You can really let your imagination go to work with ceramic with its available colors. They are heat resistant and easily cleaned. They are usually reasonably priced but they can become chipped or scratched.
As you can tell, there are many options to choose from. You are likely best off determining how much countertop you will need (they are usually measured by the square foot), looking at your budget and then seeing what materials fall within what you can afford. You also want to be sure your choice works well with your kitchen colors and your furnishings.